Employee Benefits

Medical

Health insurance is probably the most important benefit that employers provide to their employees. For workers, employer-provided health coverage gives them some security about their own and their family’s health in a way that is typically more affordable than individual insurance. For employers, offering health coverage is often a necessary compensation form to remain competitive in the marketplace.  

Dental

Many typical medical plans do not provide dental coverage, which often must be purchased separately. As a result, dental plans can be a highly attractive employee benefit. The four main types of dental coverage are:

  • Dental Health Maintenance Organization (DHMO). Like a Health Maintenance Organization, a DHMO features a primary care dentist. Patients must generally see dentists within the DHMO network to receive coverage.  
  • Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) or Participating Dental Network (PDN). Dental patients in a Preferred Provider Organization or Participating Dental Network may generally see any licensed dentist; however, patients pay lower costs for choosing a dentist within the PPO or PDN network. 
  • Dental Point of Service (POS). Patients in a dental POS plan have the choice of seeing a dentist either in or outside of a network. Out-of-pocket costs are usually greater for visits to a dentist who is not within a network.
  • Dental Indemnity. Dental indemnity plans permit patients to see any licensed dentist. Patients pay a deductible and sometimes copayments or coinsurance.

A Table or Schedule of Allowance Plan is a type of plan that provides a list of covered services with an assigned dollar amount. That dollar amount represents the amount the plan will pay for those services that are covered. The patient pays the difference.

Vision

Coverage provided under vision plans can range from routine eye exams, framing and fitting of glasses and lenses, to services for the diagnosis and treatment of eye diseases, such as glaucoma. The expenses of these services tend to vary based on the provider--depending on the plan, vision insurance may cover services performed by ophthalmologists (medical doctors), optometrists, or opticians. Types of coverage that vision plans provide can also vary, so employers should assess what level of coverage they want to make available based on employee needs and cost containment.

As with medical and dental care, vision care is usually covered by the following types of plans: 

  • Preferred Provider Organizations (PPOs);
  • Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs); and
  • Indemnity (no network, patient reimbursemen